Limited spaces are available for a poetry workshop with local author Serena Summers who is an international award winning and bestselling writer under her pen name, Virginia Carraway Stark.
Serena has been writing professionally since 2006 with the release of her first movie, but her passions lay in poetry and fiction.
What is a poetry workshop?
“It didn’t take me long to realize that the professional world of writing squishes a lot of writers, everyone is a poet, everyone is capable of putting their thoughts and dreams onto the page, some times we all need a bit of direction. A writing workshop offers direction and inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a thing before or if you’re already a confident writer, being with other writers is an inspiration.
In this particular workshop I will learn about you and what tools you need to leave the workshop feeling like you are more confident and have fewer roadblocks to writing than when you came in.”
What do you mean by roadblocks?
“Most of all, we need some one to tell us yes, you can do this. Often a roadblock has been someone or some event that has told us, ‘no’ in some way. Today, I’m that person. For me, there were people who told me I could do this. I’m paying it forward. There have been some incredibly kind people on my journey as a writer, I have attempted to pay that kindness forward as much as possible.
It is important to have honesty as well as kindness, but at this point in things, we will be focusing more on inspiration than on critical analysis of poetry. It’s important to realize that especially with poetry there may always be one person who doesn’t ‘get’ what you’re saying and another person who it speaks directly to. At the same time, it might speak to someone, but not at all in the way you intended it when you wrote it.
The important thing is that your art is out there and it is making people feel ways. It’s inspiring them. It is worth every time someone doesn’t understand for that one time when something you write speaks to someone at the exact moment that they need to hear your words. Those are the moments that keep me going as a writer.”
How long is the workshop?
The workshop is only two hours long, it might go up to two and a half hours. We’ve been very lucky to get the Country Coffee House to agree to host us so we will have Michelle Bruneau’s fresh baked goodies and coffees, chai etc to enjoy while we write.
Two hours isn’t very long to work through blocks in poetry, I’ll be happy if everyone leaves with one poem that they’re happy with by the end of the workshop but I’m aiming for more. It really depends on the tools people bring and what they need to work through.
It’s an unfortunate fact that a lot of people have actual trauma when it comes to writing poetry. Other people feel silly writing it, or think that it essentially has to be written as a limerick. I have tools to help people through these difficulties and I hope that people will come if they are challenged by poetry as well as if they already love poetry! It’s rewarding to see people go from, ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’, it’s what I love the most about teaching and why I spend time mentoring.
Is two hours long enough?
The short answer is: Absolutely! Yes, it’s enough to write some poems and have some fun.
The long answer is, no, but there will be more opportunities to have writing workshops in the future. I’ve made Enderby my home and enjoy the arts community, there is a lot of diversity here in the arts and it is a place that is welcoming to everyone from seniors, businesses, artists of all kinds but most especially, I feel, to poets. Enderby, was named for poetry and has a great deal of history in literature and poetry. It’s a wonderful fit to call it my home.
What interests you about poetry?
I’ve always been a poet. I wrote my first poems as songs and as I grew up I became self conscious and had to re-learn how to turn poems back into songs. Poetry is like people, it’s endlessly adaptive and descriptive and that’s what I love the most about it, and people.
Later I took part in poetry marathons and I learned that poems could help me to comb depths of my subconscious that I had to intent of examining. Things like a goal to write a poem a day for a month expanded to a poem a day for a year, and then two years and I finally made it to three years of a poem a day. I found during that time that I found poetry in everything and I was writing many more than one poem a day.
I’ve written a lot of marathons, from writing a novel in three days to my grandest brain breaker of a novel in a single day, I find that my personal way to break through barriers is to challenge myself. This doesn’t work for everyone. It can be harmful to try to take on too much for anyone. In the field of writing, challenging myself brings out the best in me.
What I want to do with this workshop is to bring all the tools I’ve learned over the years to bear to help find what helps others shine in writing. I’m not promising one workshop will teach you how to never have writer’s block, but it will give you some tools that you probably didn’t know you had!.
Spaces are filling up fast! Sign up at the Courtyard Gallery.